Frame story

A frame story (also known as a frame tale or frame narrative) is a literary technique.

Sometimes this serves as a companion piece to a story within a story, where an introductory or main narrative is presented, at least in part, for the purpose of setting the stage either for a more emphasized second narrative or for a set of shorter stories. The frame story leads readers from a first story into another, smaller one (or several ones) within it. The frame story may also be used to allow readers to understand a part of the story, then jump to another part that can now be understood. This is not however, to be mixed up with a narrative structure or character personality change.

Origins

Some of the earliest known frame stories are those from ancient Egypt, including one found in the Papyrus Westcar, the Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor, and The Eloquent Peasant.[1][2] Other early examples are from Indian literature, including the Sanskrit epics Mahabharata, Ramayana, Panchatantra, Syntipas's The Seven Wise Masters, and the fable collections Hitopadesha and Vikram and The Vampire.[3] This form gradually spread west through the centuries and became popular, giving rise to such classic frame tale collections as the One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights), The Decameron, and Canterbury Tales. This format had flexibility in that various narrators could retain the stories they liked or understood, while dropping ones they didn't and adding new ones they heard from other places. This occurred particularly with One Thousand and One Nights, where different versions over the centuries have included different stories.

The use of a frame story in which a single narrative is set in the context of the telling of a story is also a technique with a long history, dating back at least to the beginning section of the Odyssey, in which the narrator Odysseus tells of his wandering in the court of King Alcinous.

A set of stories

This literary device acts as a convenient conceit for the organization of a set of smaller narratives, which are either of the devising of the author or taken from a previous stock of popular tales, slightly altered by the author for the purpose of the longer narrative. Sometimes a story within the main narrative can be used to sum up or encapsulate some aspect of the framing story, in which case it is referred to in literary criticism by the French term mise en abyme.

A typical example of a frame story is One Thousand and One Nights, in which the character Shahrazad narrates a set of fairy tales to the Sultan Shahriyar over many nights. Many of Shahrazad's tales are also frame stories, such as Tale of Sindbad the Seaman and Sindbad the Landsman, a collection of adventures related by Sindbad the Seaman to Sindbad the Landsman.

Extensive use of this device is found in Ovid's Metamorphoses, where the stories nest several deep, to allow the inclusion of many different tales in one work. Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights uses this literary device to tell the story of Heathcliff and Catherine, along with the subplots. Her sister Anne also uses this device in her epistolary novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. The main heroine's diary is framed by the narrator's story and letters.

Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein is another good example of a book with multiple framed narratives. In the book, Robert Walton writes letters to his sister describing the story told to him by Victor Frankenstein; Frankenstein's story contains the creature's story; the creature's story even briefly contains the story of a family among whom it had been living.

Frame stories have also appeared in other media, such as comic books. Neil Gaiman's comic book series The Sandman featured a story arc called Worlds End which consisted of frame stories, and sometimes even featured stories within stories within stories.

Frame stories are often organized as a gathering of people in one place for the exchange of stories. Each character tells his or her tale, and the frame tale progresses in that manner. Historically famous frame stories include Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, about a group of pilgrims who tell stories on their journey to Canterbury; and Boccaccio's Decameron about a group of young aristocrats escaping the Black Death in the countryside and spending the time telling stories.

QuidorRipVanWinkle
The Return of Rip Van Winkle, painting by John Quidor, 1849

Sometimes only one storyteller exists, and in this case there might be different levels of distance between the reader and author. In this mode, the frame tale can become more fuzzy. In Washington Irving's Sketch Book, which contains "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle" among others, the conceit is that the author of the book is not Irving, but a certain gentleman named Crayon. Here the frame includes the world of the imagined Crayon, his stories, and the possible reader who is assumed to play along and "know" who Crayon is.

Donald Westlake's short story "No Story" is a parody of frame stories, in which a series of narrators start to tell stories, each of which contains a narrator who starts to tell a story, culminating in a narrator who announces that there will be no story. Essentially, it is a frame story without a story to be framed.

Single story

When there is a single story, the frame story is used for other purposes – chiefly to position the reader's attitude toward the tale. One common one is to draw attention to the narrator's unreliability. By explicitly making the narrator a character within the frame story, the writer distances him or herself from the narrator; she or he may also characterize the narrator to cast doubt on the narrator's truthfulness. In P. G. Wodehouse's stories of Mr Mulliner, Mulliner is made a fly fisherman in order to cast doubt on the outrageous stories he tells. The movie Amadeus is framed as a story an old Antonio Salieri tells to a young priest, because the movie is based more on stories Salieri told about Mozart than on historical fact.

Another use is a form of procatalepsis, where the writer puts the readers' possible reactions to the story in the characters listening to it. In The Princess Bride the frame of a grandfather reading the story to his reluctant grandson puts the cynical reaction a viewer might have to the romantic fairytale into the story in the grandson's persona, and helps defuse it. This is the use when the frame tells a story that lacks a strong narrative hook in its opening; the narrator can engage the reader's interest by telling the story to answer the curiosity of his listeners, or by warning them that the story began in an ordinary seeming way, but they must follow it to understand later actions, thereby identifying the reader's wondering whether the story is worth reading to the listeners'. Such an approach was used by Edith Wharton in her novella Ethan Frome, in which a nameless narrator hears from many characters in the town of Starkfield about the main character Ethan's story.

A specialized form of the frame is a dream vision, where the narrator claims to have gone to sleep, dreamed the events of the story, and then awoken to tell the tale. In medieval Europe, this was a common device, used to indicate that the events included are fictional; Geoffrey Chaucer used it in The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, Parlement of Foules, and The Legend of Good Women (the last also containing a multi-story frame story within the dream). In modern usage, it is sometimes used in works of fantasy as a means toward suspension of disbelief about the marvels depicted in the story. J.R.R. Tolkien, in his essay "On Fairy-Stories" complained of such devices as unwillingness to treat the genre seriously. Lewis Carroll's Alice stories (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass) includes such a frame, but unlike most usages, the stories themselves use dream-like logic and sequences; most dream frames frame stories that appear exactly as if occurring in real life. The writer John Bunyan used a dream device in the Christian allegory Pilgrim's Progress and its sequel, explaining that they were dreams he had while he was in prison and felt God wanted him to write down. This worked because it made what might have been seen as a fantasy something more realistic and meaningful to others who believed as he did.

Still, even when the story proceeds realistically, the dream frame casts doubt on the events. In the book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the events really occur; the dream frame added for the movie detracts from the validity of the fantasy.[4]

Use

As with all literary conceits, the frame tale has many variations, some clearly within the confines of the conceit, some on the border, and some pushing the boundaries of understanding. The main goal of a frame tale is as a conceit which can adequately collect otherwise disparate tales. It has been mostly replaced, in modern literature, by the short story collection or anthology absent of any authorial conceit and other rhetorical devices.

To be a frame narrative, the story must act primarily as an occasion for the telling of other stories. If the framing narrative has primary or equal interest, then it is not usually a frame narrative. For example, Odysseus narrates much of the Odyssey to the Phaeacians, but, even though this recollection forms a great part of the poem, the events after and before the interpolated recollection are of greater interest than the memory.

Another notable example that plays with frame narrative is the 1994 film Forrest Gump. Most of the film is narrated by Forrest to various companions on the park bench. However, in the last fifth or so of the film, Forrest gets up and leaves the bench, and we follow him as he meets with Jenny and her son. This final segment suddenly has no narrator unlike the rest of the film that came before it, but is instead told through Forrest and Jenny's dialogues.

This approach is also demonstrated in the 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire (adapted from the 2005 novel Q & A), about a poor street kid Jamal coming close to winning Kaun Banega Crorepati (the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?) and then being suspected of cheating. Most of the story is narrated at a police station by Jamal, who narrates how he knew the answers to the questions as the show is played back on video. The show itself then serves as another framing device, as Jamal sees flashbacks of his past as each question is asked. The last portion of the film then unfolds without any narrator.

Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness demonstrates a narrator telling a story, while the protagonist is quoted so as to give the framed appearance that he is telling the story. The narrator provides the transition to the one speaking the story.

A famous literary example is Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, whereby we learn events through a visitor to the house of the title, who in turn has been told these events by the housekeeper of the Linton family. None of the main characters ever directly narrates.

Another example is David Mitchell's 2004 novel Cloud Atlas, which is a frame story inside a frame story inside a frame story – and so on. There are six stories in all, each framed inside the other, forming a chiastic structure to a semi-cathartic tale spanning centuries of narrative.

Frame stories are found in many role-playing video games, such as the early Dragon Quest IV, released in 1990. This literary device can also be sparingly used to achieve secondary ends. For instance, the Shining Force series of role playing games use narrators within frame stories to implement things like starting, saving and exiting the game without breaking the fourth wall entirely, or rather by constructing a second fourth wall to shield the player from having to suspend his/her disbelief as much. A similar approach was used in the open world video game Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven, where the game's missions are presented as a series of flashbacks narrated by Tommy Angelo, as he confesses his involvement with an American Mafia family. Another example of frame stories in video games is the game Catherine. Catherine's first scene is a frame story.

In the game Bastion, the Kid's actions are narrated by one of the other characters, Rucks, as he tells the Kid's story to another character while the Kid is in the final area. Because Rucks never learns about the Kid's actions explicitly, the narration is mostly anecdotal and primarily serves to fill in background information about each level; however, it also serves to keep the fourth wall intact, as player deaths are portrayed as jokes on the narrator's part. After the player's actions catch up to the story, the narration switches to a more speculative tone, as Rucks no longer knows what the player is doing.

Another example is Persona 5, which begins in medias res and is largely framed around Sae Niijima's interrogation of the protagonist, henceforth referred to by his code name "Joker" since the character's proper name is player-defined. During the story, Niijima introduces the audience to antagonists the Phantom Thieves have targeted, and whenever a Confidant besides Niijima (who cuts a deal with Joker during the interrogation) or the Velvet Room residents is unlocked, she will press Joker for information on accomplices and skills. Whenever a new party member is introduced, Niijima will press Joker on how he knew them, reacting with horror at the point in the game when her younger sister Makoto becomes a Phantom Thief. Should the player fail to complete a Palace by its deadline, the resulting game over is framed as a truth serum overdose Joker is suffering from preventing him from recalling events correctly and a mysterious man - heavily implied and later confirmed to be a traitor to the Phantom Thieves - murdering him in cold blood while Niijima leaves to allow him to recover.[5] Conversely, a more minor memory problem caused by the truth serum overdose is used to avoid revealing the traitor's identity too early. The device is dropped once the in-game calendar reaches the day of the interrogation, as the prologue leads into the interrogation and the main conflict is still far from resolved by this date.

Compared to reprise

In musical sonata form or rondo, a theme occurs at the beginning and end of the work, or returns periodically. This could most simply be a recurrence or restatement of a melody or song. For example, the Beatles song "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" works as a framing device for their album of the same name, appearing at the beginning and end of the album. Other albums with similar devices include Paul McCartney & Wings' Band on the Run, the recurring heartbeats in Pink Floyd's album The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here ("Shine On You Crazy Diamond"), Supertramp's Crime of the Century (the harmonica riff at the beginning of "School" is reprised at the end of the title track), and Spirit's Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus ("You have the world at your fingertips/No one can make it better than you"). Another is Junior Senior's 'D-D-D-Don't Stop The Beat' album which ends with a reprise of the first notes from the opening track. The closing track of Genesis' Selling England by the Pound is a reprise of the opening track "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight."

A reprise may be expressed in narrative: at the beginning and the end of the movie The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Clint Eastwood's character shoots the noose to save his partner from hanging.

At the beginning of the 1992 movie Far and Away, the father "dies" and then returns to life briefly. The same thing happens in Vanilla Sky where Tom Cruise's character "dies" and then comes back to life.

Framing devices may also take the form of a recurrent element that appears at the beginning and the end of the narrative. For example, a story may begin with a character visiting a park under one set of circumstances, then returning at the end to the same park under a different set of circumstances, having undergone a change that allows him or her to see the park in a new light.

A framing device might also simply be a defining image of the narrative or art that is used at the beginning and end of the work.

An example of this is in the film Chariots of Fire which begins and ends with the characters running along a beach, accompanied at both times by the movie’s famous theme music. This scene, although chronologically occurring in the middle of the film and unimportant to the straightforward plot, serves to convey a defining emotion and tone that sets the context for the main story.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ John Clute and John Grant, ed. (1999). The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. Macmillan. p. 312. ISBN 9780312198695.
  2. ^ Jay, Jacqueline E. (2016). Orality and Literacy in the Demotic Tales. Brill. p. 27-32, 211-212. ISBN 9789004323070.
  3. ^ Witzel, Michael E. J. (1987). "On the origin of the literary device of the 'Frame Story' in Old Indian literature". In Falk, H. Hinduismus und Buddhismus, Festschrift für U. Schneider. Freiburg. pp. 380–414. ISBN 3-925270-01-9.
  4. ^ Jones, Steven Swann (1995). The Fairy Tale: The Magic Mirror of Imagination. New York: Twayne Publishers. p. 94. ISBN 0-8057-0950-9.
  5. ^ Atlus (April 4, 2017). Persona 5. PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4. Atlus, Deep Silver. Level/area: Police Station. Sae Niijima: ...Is that the entirety of your testimony? *sigh* Do you have no intention of saying anything more? Or is the overdose affecting your memory...? In any case, it seems it'd be a waste of time to speak to you any longer. It's unfortunate. [Soon after Niijima has left, a mysterious man holds Joker at gunpoint]/Mysterious Man: ...Allow me to enlighten you. That trivial righteousness that you've paraded around...? This is how such idiocy ends. [shoots Joker in the head, killing him instantly] ...Farewell.
Clip show

A clip show is an episode of a television series that consists primarily of excerpts from previous episodes. Most clip shows feature the format of a frame story in which cast members recall past events from past installments of the show, depicted with a clip of the event presented as a flashback. Clip shows are also known as cheaters, particularly in the field of animation. Clip shows are often played before series finales, or once syndication becomes highly likely. Other times, however, clip shows are simply produced for budgetary reasons (i.e. to avoid additional costs from shooting in a certain setting, or from casting actors to appear in new material).

Dragonheart (novel)

Dragonheart is a science fiction novel by Todd McCaffrey in the Dragonriders of Pern series that his mother Anne McCaffrey initiated in 1967. Published by Del Rey Books in 2008, it was the second for Todd as sole author and the twenty-second in the series. Written after his first book, Dragonsblood, it is a concurrent-time book as opposed to a prequel or sequel.

The frame story of Dragonheart takes place in a few days of winter 508 AL (years After Landing on Pern), weeks after the beginning of the Third Pass and its attendant Threadfall.

Fix-up

A fix-up (or fixup) is a novel created from several short fiction stories that may or may not have been initially related or previously published. The stories may be edited for consistency, and sometimes new connecting material, such as a frame story or other interstitial narration, is written for the new work. The term was coined by the science fiction writer A. E. van Vogt, who published several fix-ups of his own, including The Voyage of the Space Beagle, but the practice (if not the term) exists outside of science fiction. The use of the term in science fiction criticism was popularised by the first (1979) edition of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, edited by Peter Nicholls, which credited Van Vogt with the creation of the term.

The name comes from the modifications that the author needs to make in the original texts to make them fit together as though they were a novel. Foreshadowing of events from the later stories may be jammed into an early chapter of the fix-up, and character development may be interleaved throughout the book. Contradictions and inconsistencies between episodes are usually worked out.

Some fix-ups in their final form are more of a short story cycle or composite novel rather than a traditional novel with a single main plotline. Examples are Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles and Isaac Asimov's I, Robot, both of which read as a series of short stories which may share plot threads and characters but which still act as self-contained stories. By contrast, van Vogt's The Weapon Shops of Isher is structured like a continuous novel although it incorporates material from three previous Van Vogt short stories.

Fix-ups became an accepted practice in American publishing during the 1950s, when science fiction and fantasy—once published primarily in magazines—began appearing increasingly in book form. Large book publishers like Doubleday and Simon & Schuster entered the market, greatly increasing demand for fiction. Authors created new manuscripts from old stories to sell to publishers. Algis Budrys in 1965 described fixups as a consequence of the lack of good supply during the "bad years for quality" of the mid-1950s, although citing The Martian Chronicles and Clifford D. Simak's City as among exceptions.

Four Rooms

Four Rooms is a 1995 American anthology comedy film co-written and co-directed by Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez, and Quentin Tarantino, each directing a segment of it that in its entirety is loosely based on the adult short fiction writings of Roald Dahl, especially "Man from the South" which is the basis for the last one, Penthouse - "The Man from Hollywood" directed by Tarantino. The story is set in the fictional Hotel Mon Signor in Los Angeles on New Year's Eve. Tim Roth plays Ted, the bellhop and main character in the frame story, whose first night on the job consists of four very different encounters with various hotel guests.

List of One Thousand and One Nights characters

This is a list of characters in the medieval collection of Middle Eastern folk tales One Thousand and One Nights.

Master Humphrey's Clock

Master Humphrey's Clock was a weekly periodical edited and written entirely by Charles Dickens and published from 4 April 1840 to 4 December 1841. It began with a frame story in which Master Humphrey tells about himself and his small circle of friends (which includes Mr. Pickwick), and their penchant for telling stories. Several short stories were included, followed by the novels The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge. It is generally thought that Dickens originally intended The Old Curiosity Shop as a short story like the others that had appeared in Master Humphrey's Clock, but after a few chapters decided to extend it into a novel. Master Humphrey appears as the first-person narrator in the first three chapters of The Old Curiosity Shop but then disappears, stating, "And now that I have carried this history so far in my own character and introduced these personages to the reader, I shall for the convenience of the narrative detach myself from its further course, and leave those who have prominent and necessary parts in it to speak and act for themselves."

Master Humphrey is a lonely man who lives in London. He keeps old manuscripts in an antique longcase clock by the chimney-corner. One day, he decides that he would start a little club, called Master Humphrey's Clock, where the members would read out their manuscripts to the others. The members include Master Humphrey; a deaf gentleman, Jack Redburn; retired merchant Owen Miles; and Mr. Pickwick from The Pickwick Papers. A mirror club in the kitchen, Mr. Weller's Watch, run by Mr. Weller, has members including Humphrey's maid, the barber and Sam Weller.

Master Humphrey's Clock appeared after The Old Curiosity Shop, to introduce Barnaby Rudge. After Barnaby Rudge, Master Humphrey is left by himself by the chimney corner in a train of thoughts. Here, the deaf gentleman continues the narration. Later, the deaf gentleman and his friends return to Humphrey's house to find him dead. Humphrey has left money for the barber and the maid (no doubt by traces of love that they would be married). Redburn and the deaf gentleman look after the house and the club closes for good.

In the portion of Master Humphrey's Clock which succeeds The Old Curiosity Shop, Master Humphrey reveals to his friends that he is the character referred to as the 'single gentleman' in that story.

Maytime (1937 film)

Maytime is a 1937 American musical romantic drama film produced by MGM. It was directed by Robert Z. Leonard, and stars Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. The screenplay was rewritten from the book for Sigmund Romberg's 1917 operetta Maytime by Rida Johnson Young, Romberg's librettist; however, only one musical number by Romberg was retained.

The film's storyline greatly resembles that of Noël Coward's operetta Bitter Sweet, right down to the "frame story" surrounding the main plot. Three years later, MGM filmed a Technicolor version of Bitter Sweet, but altered the plot slightly so that audiences would not notice the similarities.

One Thousand and One Nights

One Thousand and One Nights (Arabic: أَلْف لَيْلَة وَلَيْلَة‎, translit. ʾAlf layla wa-layla) is a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. It is often known in English as the Arabian Nights, from the first English-language edition (c. 1706 – c. 1721), which rendered the title as The Arabian Nights' Entertainment.The work was collected over many centuries by various authors, translators, and scholars across West, Central, and South Asia and North Africa. Some tales themselves trace their roots back to ancient and medieval Arabic, Persian, Greek, Indian, Jewish and Turkish folklore and literature. In particular, many tales were originally folk stories from the Abbasid and Mamluk eras, while others, especially the frame story, are most probably drawn from the Pahlavi Persian work Hezār Afsān (Persian: هزار افسان‎, lit. A Thousand Tales), which in turn relied partly on Indian elements.What is common throughout all the editions of the Nights is the initial frame story of the ruler Shahryār and his wife Scheherazade and the framing device incorporated throughout the tales themselves. The stories proceed from this original tale; some are framed within other tales, while others begin and end of their own accord. Some editions contain only a few hundred nights, while others include 1,001 or more. The bulk of the text is in prose, although verse is occasionally used for songs and riddles and to express heightened emotion. Most of the poems are single couplets or quatrains, although some are longer.

Some of the stories commonly associated with The Nights, in particular "Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp", "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves", and "The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor", were not part of The Nights in its original Arabic versions but were added to the collection by Antoine Galland and other European translators.

Pourquoi l'étrange Monsieur Zolock s'intéressait-il tant à la bande dessinée?

Pourquoi l'étrange Monsieur Zolock s'intéressait-il tant à la bande dessinée? ("Why is the strange Mr. Zolock so interested in comics?") is a Canadian docufiction film, released in 1983. A documentary about comic books and graphic novels, the film features interviews with comics illustrators wrapped by a fictional frame story in which Monsieur Zolock (Jean-Louis Millette), an evil supervillain, hires private investigator Dieudonné (Michel Rivard) to investigate the cultural influence of comics as part of his plot to take over the world.The film won the Genie Award for Best Feature Length Documentary at the 5th Genie Awards in 1984.

Stylistic device

In literature and writing, stylistic elements are the use of any of a variety of techniques to give an auxiliary meaning, idea, or feeling to the literal or written.

Tales from the Hood

Tales from the Hood is a 1995 horror drama anthology film directed by Rusty Cundieff and executive-produced by Spike Lee. The film presents four short urban-themed horror stories based on problem concepts that affect the African-American community in the order of police corruption, domestic abuse, institutional racism and gang violence; all presented within a frame story of three drug dealers buying some "found" drugs from an eccentric and story-prone funeral director. It was filmed in 1994.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (German: Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari) is a 1920 German silent horror film, directed by Robert Wiene and written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. Considered the quintessential work of German Expressionist cinema, it tells the story of an insane hypnotist (Werner Krauss) who uses a somnambulist (Conrad Veidt) to commit murders. The film features a dark and striking visual style, with sharp-pointed forms, oblique and curving lines, structures and landscapes that lean and twist in unusual angles, and shadows and streaks of light painted directly onto the sets.

The script was inspired by various experiences from the lives of Janowitz and Mayer, both pacifists who were left distrustful of authority after their experiences with the military during World War I. The film's design was handled by Hermann Warm, Walter Reimann and Walter Röhrig, who recommended a fantastic, graphic style over a naturalistic one. The film has been characterized as presenting themes on brutal and irrational authority; the destabilized contrast between insanity and sanity; the subjective perception of reality; and the duality of human nature.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was released just as foreign film industries were easing restrictions on the import of German films following World War I, so it was screened internationally. Accounts differ as to its financial and critical success upon release, but modern film critics and historians have largely praised it as a revolutionary film. Critic Roger Ebert called it arguably "the first true horror film", and film reviewer Danny Peary called it cinema's first cult film and a precursor to arthouse films. Considered a classic, it helped draw worldwide attention to the artistic merit of German cinema and had a major influence on American films, particularly in the genres of horror and film noir, introducing techniques such as the twist ending and the unreliable narrator to the language of narrative film.

The Decameron

The Decameron (Italian title: "Decameron" [deˈkaːmeron; dekameˈrɔn; dekameˈron] or "Decamerone" [dekameˈroːne]), subtitled "Prince Galehaut" (Old Italian: Prencipe Galeotto [ˈprentʃipe ɡaleˈɔtto; ˈprɛntʃipe] and sometimes nicknamed "Umana commedia", "Human comedy"), is a collection of novellas by the 14th-century Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375). The book is structured as a frame story containing 100 tales told by a group of seven young women and three young men sheltering in a secluded villa just outside Florence to escape the Black Death, which was afflicting the city. Boccaccio probably conceived of The Decameron after the epidemic of 1348, and completed it by 1353. The various tales of love in The Decameron range from the erotic to the tragic. Tales of wit, practical jokes, and life lessons contribute to the mosaic. In addition to its literary value and widespread influence (for example on Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales), it provides a document of life at the time. Written in the vernacular of the Florentine language, it is considered a masterpiece of classical early Italian prose.

The Earthly Paradise

The Earthly Paradise by William Morris is an epic poem. It is a lengthy collection of retellings of various myths and legends from Greece and Scandinavia. It was begun in 1868 and several later volumes followed until 1870. The Earthly Paradise was generally well received by reviewers: according to one study it "established Morris's reputation as one of the foremost poets of his day".

Morris uses a frame story concerning a group of medieval wanderers searching for a land of everlasting life. After much disillusionment they discover a surviving colony of Greeks with whom they exchange stories. The poem is divided into twelve sections, each section representing a month of the year and containing two tales told in verse, drawn largely from classical mythology or mediaeval legends, including the Icelandic sagas.

All of Morris's subsequent books were published as "by the author of The Earthly Paradise".

The Notion Club Papers

The Notion Club Papers is the title of an abandoned novel by J. R. R. Tolkien, written during 1945 and published posthumously in Sauron Defeated, the 9th volume of The History of Middle-earth. It is a space/time/dream travel story, written at the same time as The Lord of the Rings was being developed. The story itself revolves around the meetings of an Oxford arts discussion group called the Notion Club, a fictionalization of (and a play on words on the name of) Tolkien's own such club, the Inklings.

During these meetings, Alwin Arundel Lowdham discusses his lucid dreams about Númenor, a lost civilization connected with Atlantis and also with Tolkien's Middle-earth. Through these dreams, he "discovers" much about the Númenor story and the languages of Middle-earth (notably Quenya, Sindarin, and Adûnaic — the last being the sole source of most of the material on Adûnaic). While not finished, at the end of the given story it becomes clear Lowdham himself is a reincarnation of sorts of Elendil. (Alwin is a modernization of the name Ælfwine, Old English for Elf-friend, or Elendil in Quenya.) Other members of the Club also mention their vivid dreams of other times and places.

The Saragossa Manuscript (film)

The Saragossa Manuscript (Polish: Rękopis znaleziony w Saragossie, "The Manuscript found in Zaragoza") is a 1965 Polish film directed by Wojciech Has, based on the 1815 novel The Manuscript Found in Saragossa by Jan Potocki. Set primarily in Spain, it tells a frame story containing gothic, picaresque and erotic elements. In a deserted house during the Napoleonic Wars, two officers from opposing sides find a manuscript, which tells the tale of the Spanish officer's grandfather, Alphonso van Worden (Zbigniew Cybulski). Van Worden travelled in the region many years before, being plagued by evil spirits, and meeting such figures as a Qabalist, a sultan and a gypsy, who tell him further stories, many of which intertwine and interrelate with one another.

The film was a relative success in Poland and other parts of socialist eastern Europe upon its release. It later also achieved a level of critical success in the United States, when filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola rediscovered it and encouraged its propagation.

The Silver Chair

The Silver Chair is a children's fantasy novel by C. S. Lewis, published by Geoffrey Bles in 1953. It was the fourth published of seven novels in The Chronicles of Narnia (1950–1956); it is volume six in recent editions, which are sequenced according to Narnian history. Like the others, it was illustrated by Pauline Baynes and her work has been retained in many later editions.The novel is set primarily in the world of Narnia, decades after The Voyage of the Dawn Treader there but less than a year later in England. King Caspian X is now an old man, but his son and only heir, Prince Rilian, is missing. Aslan the lion sends two children from England to Narnia on a mission to resolve the mystery: Eustace Scrubb, from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and his classmate, Jill Pole. In the frame story, Eustace and Jill are students at a horrible boarding school, Experiment House.

The Silver Chair is dedicated to Nicholas Hardie, the son of Colin Hardie, a member of the Inklings with Lewis.

Macmillan US published an American edition within the calendar year.The Silver Chair was adapted and filmed as a BBC television series of six episodes in 1990.

Triangle (2007 film)

Triangle (simplified Chinese: 铁三角; traditional Chinese: 鐵三角; pinyin: tie san jiao) is a 2007 Hong Kong action film produced and directed by Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam, and Johnnie To. The film's title refers to both the acclaimed trio of filmmakers and to the uneasy brotherhood of the film's three protagonists. Triangle tells one story which is told in three thirty-minute segments, independently helmed by the three directors. It stars Louis Koo, Simon Yam and Sun Honglei as a group of friends who uncover a hidden treasure that quickly draws attention among others. The film's tagline is "Temptation. Jealousy. Destiny." Each word is often associated with the segments that appear in chronological order.

The first Hong Kong film made in a frame story format, Triangle had each director take charge of a film segment, bringing in their own production team and screenwriters to continue the story set in motion by the previous director. Critics made easy notice of the lack of continuity in between each segment, since the trio of directors did not share their scripts together while discussing the concepts.

Triangle was screened out of competition at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. It was later released in China on 1 October 2007, which was one month before its theatrical Hong Kong release.

Wisdom's Daughter

Wisdom's Daughter is a fantasy novel by British writer H. Rider Haggard, published in 1923, by Doubleday, Page and Company. It is the final book in the Ayesha series. Along with the other three novels in the series, Wisdom's Daughter was adapted into the 1935 film She.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.